China-backed third telco player DITO Telecommunity promised to provide a minimum internet speed of 27Mbps and reach a nationwide coverage of 37 percent, but these commitments are yet to be achieved.

DITO’s commercial launch was delayed twice: the first was in the last quarter of 2019 and the second was in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

DITO was supposed to have a technical audit by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) last July but asked for a grace period. The NTC granted DITO six more months to comply, moving the audit to January 7, 2021, noting that it will be the last grace period the agency can offer.

With the government fast-tracking telco permits, the third telco should have been making significant progress to meet its deadline as there are no more excuses left for another delay.

DITO’s current franchise is set to expire in 2023 and senators warned that it should not anticipate a renewal unless it meets its commitments.

“Here’s the thing —when DITO applied for this franchise and made all these commitments, they should have had the forecast of what they were going to spend already,” said Senator Grace Poe.

Whether or not DITO would need more money, it must be able to deliver what it has committed: “world-class telecommunications services that Filipinos truly deserve.”

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